Pain and Painting Black Figurines

Chronic Pain Memories

When I returned to Wisconsin for the Thanksgiving Holiday, this past year, I did more than spend quality time with family and friends.

I, also, reconnected with memories created more than twenty years ago.  Fond memories of struggling through the early years of a chronic pain condition.

As shared in earlier posts, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 1993.  The daily, excruciating pain associated with this condition forced me to take a six-month medical leave from my dream job, which eventually led to a resignation for medical reasons.

Because of the severe joint degeneration in my hands, I lost the ability to do even simple self-care tasks e.g., buttoning my blouse, tying my shoes, putting on a bra, or even combing my hair.  In addition to working full-time, Hubby served as my primary caregiver.  That is one of many reasons why I have kept him around for almost fifty-five years.

Chronic Pain Management:  Painting Black Figurines

Approximately four months after the diagnosis, things changed.  It started, when I opened the huge box sent by the Eldest Daughter from North Carolina where she was living at the time. Inside were bottles of acrylic paint in an array of colors as well as a number of unpainted figurines.

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ACRYLIC PAINTS

 

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UNPAINTED PECAN SHELL RESIN ANGEL FIGURINE

 

I called her and said, “Thank you for the gift, but What The H… am I suppose to do with these things?”

“Painting may give you some pain relief as well as strengthen your hands.  Give it a try.” she said.

I tried and the first pieces were a disaster. But, I painted figurines almost everyday from 1993 until 1996.  The painting improved.  But, more importantly, the joints strengthened and the pain lessened.

Daily, for almost three years, I painted figurines depicting African-Americans in different roles — babies, clowns, children, angels, baseball players, basketball players, sorority girls, fraternity boys, historical figures, Buffalo Soldiers, doctors, nurses, etc.

After a while, the pieces went on display in the African-American Art Gallery that we formerly owned. They were quick sellers, especially the Santa’s and Angels.

I painted under the pseudonym, Marie Enno, which I took from the last four letters, spelled backwards, of my first name “Yvonne”; and, my middle name “Marie.”  A number of close friends and relatives purchased the figurines.  However, they had no idea that Yvonne Marie and Marie Enno were one in the same.

Painting the figurines distracted me from focusing on pain.  I know painting was the beginning of my journey:

  • from the non-productive invalid stage of chronic pain
  • to the productive and active lifestyle I continue to enjoy at the seasoned age of 73.

Yes, I still have pain but I work to control it rather than letting it control me.

Thanksgiving with The Black Santa’s

With the exception of the Santa’s shown in this post, all the figurines were either sold at the gallery or gifted to friends.

When the family Christmas Gatherings, outgrew the space in our home, the Eldest Daughter said, “Let’s move the Santa’s to my home so we can continue to enjoy them.”  I agreed and visited my Santa’s at her house every Christmas Holiday until retirement brought us to Florida in 2010.

Though everybody now comes to Florida for Christmas, Eldest Daughter wants to keep the Santa’s.  Since they have been in her possession for more than ten years, I believe her home is now their home.

This year, for the first time, she decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving; and, I was able to once again enjoy my beloved Santa’s.  She will continue to do this in the future; and I look forward to visiting with my Santa’s every Thanksgiving.

I added the photos below to my Cherished Memories Album. I can now enjoy looking at them when I want.

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Sharing a Memory: Thanksgiving 2014

Hubby and I returned to Wisconsin to spend Thanksgiving with the kids, grands, relatives and friends this past year.  Since we decided to go at the last-minute one, our airline ticket prices were over the top.  (Side Bar Correction: The decision was mine and I bugged Hubby until he agreed.). 

Why I Bugged Hubby

For years, we postponed visiting Hubby’s last remaining Aunt even though, by car, she lived six hours away from our home in Wisconsin.  I remember reasons like “not enough time” or “maybe next year.”

Sadly, she passed away the first week in November.  There was “enough time” and we couldn’t wait until “maybe next year” to attend her funeral and show our respect.

It was an up-front and up-in-my-face reality moment. Our tomorrows with loved ones are not promised.  And, nothing short of my death was going to prevent me from spending Thanksgiving with the children and grands.

It was a short visit with a lot packed into three days, but I am grateful for the many precious memories including this one about my Little Girls.

The youngest members of our families are oftentimes the funniest.  And, these two were in hot water for their shenanigans during the after Thanksgiving Family Gathering.

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Cupcake (Black Dress) – Lyric (Plaid Shirt)

Our 6-year-old granddaughter, Cupcake, and great-granddaughter, Lyric, 7-years-old proudly announced to all that they were putting on a play later in the evening.  Everyone purchased a ticket.  The two girls disappeared; and, we all assumed they were pulling things together.  When the girls came downstairs a bit later, they started to play a board game, and the play was soon forgotten by all.

Several hours later, the Eldest Daughter answered the phone and the caller said, “Someone telephoned 911 from this telephone is everything okay?”  She assured the dispatcher all was well and said, “I can’t imagine what happened.”

My son decided to ask the girls and Cupcake admitted making the call.  He explained to her that 911 calls were for emergencies only.  She quickly said, “This was an emergency Lyric stole my money.”   Lyric piped up with “I deserved more money because I am older.”

Aunts, cousins, uncles, dad, friends, etc., all took turns sharing examples with the girls of the right and wrong times to call the 911 emergency number.

The money collected was equally split between the two girls with the promise they would put the play on at our family’s July 4th Celebration.

Once everything settled down with the girls, the party activities continued. Then, the doorbell ring, a police officer came down the steps and entered the lower level.  Cupcake looked up from her card game, saw the police officer, and quickly ducked behind the ottoman.

Her dad called her out of hiding.  And, she meekly stood before the officer as he calmly explained to both girls that 911 calls were for emergencies only.

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Cam’ron (Play Grandson) – Police Officer

Something positive came out of this 911 incident.  After all the negative publicity about policemen and their negative relationship with the African-American community, it was good for our teenage family members to witness a police officer interacting with these two little girls as well as our entire family in a kind, professional, and respectful way.

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L-R: Avi, Tianna, Cupcake, Taeja, Lyric and Chelsea

 

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L-R: Cameron, Kertagje, George, Kaleef

 

 

 

 

Gratitude Sunday: “Hearts As One Dream Beat Award”

Gratitude

I believe everyday there is something to express gratitude for. Acknowledging and expressing thankfulness, on a daily basis, is one of the most used tools in my Healthy Living War Chest.

Through the world of Blogosphere, I have found many, many bloggers who have given me a reason to express gratitude; and because of them I add new tools to my War Chest daily.

Grateful for Award

And, today, I am grateful to Beverly at My Wonky Donkey Life for nominating me to receive the “Heart As One Drum Beat Award.”

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The rules for passing this award along is for the recipient —

“Within their posts whether if be through Poem or Word caring for others if a must for this award.  Be through laughter or humor, photograph or story, love and compassion are mandatory.”

I say with the highest level of confidence the five nominees I have selected meet the must requirements for this award –

  • Caring for Others 
  • Love and Compassion.

For me, their

  • Humor has generated laughter,
  • Words have raised awareness, and
  • Photographs have served to bring new people, places and things into my space.

And, without further ado, my nominees for the “Hearts And One Dream Beat Award” are:

Nominees, I leave you with the words of the Award’s creator:

“Together let us beat our drums for harmony, peace, unity and equality.  Let the beat of your thoughts ripple out as we share our hearts in one beat of unity. (Sue Dreamwalker)

 

2015: Blogosphere and ME

It’s A New Year

I am excited to begin 2015 focused on:

  • improving the quality of this blog, and
  • uplifting ME spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Blogosphere

Because of the holidays, family member illness, and the death of Hubby’s last remaining aunt, I had to step away from blogging for the past several months.  Life is getting back to normal and I am happy to reconnect with my blogging friends.

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This month, January 13, I will celebrate my second anniversary as a blogger.  This blogging experience has opened the door to new experiences, new places and new people both in this country and other parts of the world.

Virtually, via blogging friends, I:

  • traveled to other countries as well as different places throughout the United States;
  • received helpful information on nutrition, meditation, exercise, alternative health care; and
  • entered a new world of books, poetry, religion and music.

Thank you, blogging friends, for uplifting ME spiritually, emotionally and physically these past two years.

Finally, thanks to the information shared in a WordPress recent post,“Make 2015 A Great Blogging Year,” I have the tools to take my blog to the next level.

ME

Hubby, family, friends, and bloggers have all served to improve the quality of my life.  I am grateful.  But, recent acquired self-acknowledgement and self-awareness skills, guided me to the recognition that this responsibility is solely mine.

To improve ME in 2015, I will:

  • Nurture my Healing Container Garden as it brings peace, bliss, and tranquility into my space.

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  • Write daily notes to place in My Gratitude Jar, to express gratitude for the good things in life.

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  • Seek out those things which serve to keep ME grounded and directed in a positive way.

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  • Hone my photography skills because it is always good to learn something new and interesting.
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Camera Purchased Two Years Ago – Still a Work-In-Progress
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Upgraded Camera – Gifted to ME – Christmas 2014
  •  Incorporate healthy recipes into my menus and “go to” the healthy eating cookbooks purchased over the past five years and are never used.
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A Small Sampling of Healthy Eating Good Books
  • Research and explore different options to address my health issues.

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  • Continue to value and appreciate the love of my life, Hubby, as we approach our 55th Anniversary on April 11, 2015.

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  • Remember there are always new things for ME to explore.   

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2015, Here I Come Ready Or Not!

Freedom Friday – November 14, 2014

 

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Freedom Friday

Today

I will LET GO. 

I will FREE MY MIND.

I will SEEK SOLITUDE IN STILLNESS.

I will OPEN MY HEART to RECEIVE the GIFTS of

CALMNESS, QUIETNESS and LIGHTNESS

— SeasonedSistah2 —

Sending a shout out to blogging friend, Iman, for encouraging me to step outside my comfort zone.  This is my second attempt at being poetic.

And, I confess that SeasonedSistah2 is neither a writer nor poet.  But, I only share what represents MY AUTHENTIC VOICE.

Also on this Freedom Friday, I exercise the right to say:

“Thank You to all my blogging friends for  enlightening and expanding my world.”

Blogging 101, Love Your Theme

Today’s Assignment

“Try out at least three other themes — even if you’re happy with the one you first chose.  Try one you’re drawn to, and one you would never use.”

If I have multiple things to choose from; I have to look, re-look and look several more times before making a decision.  I took more time than necessary viewing the different theme options to complete this assignment.

After trying three, I concluded that I was happier with the current theme.  I wrote about this for the Day 1 Assignment, “Say Your Name.”

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My question??????   HOW DO I GET THE OLD THEME BACK?

Confession, I plead guilty to being computer and blogosphere challenged.

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Blogging 101, Day 1: Say Your Name

The Day 1 Assignment was to “edit your title and tagline.” On January 13, I will celebrate my Two Year Blogging Anniversary.

I did change the original theme, but my title and tagline remains the same.

 Current Theme

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The current theme was custom designed by a designer that I found while surfing through blogosphere.  The fee was nominal; and, I like the overall appearance.

The pastel soft pink/white background coloring as well as the title written in cursive depicts the softness and warmth that I wanted to convey in my blog.

My blog title came from a book club, Seasoned Sistah, that I was active in for a number of years.  The club disbanded shortly after I retired to Florida in 2010; and, I decided to use the name when I began blogging in 2013.  With the approval of the three former members, I added the “2” to separate my blog from the book club’s name.

My Tagline, Today is Better than Yesterday, is the way I choose to live in this last season of my life.

I AM open to change and either during or at the end of Blogging 101, I may decide to make a change.